SINGAPORE: Singapore's 15-year-old students came out among the top in an international evaluation survey last year, earning a spot in the top five places in reading, mathematics and science.
The Republic also had the second highest proportion of students, 12.3 per cent, after Shanghai, which had 14.6 per cent, who were top performers in all three areas - according to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
The average percentage of top performers among the 33 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was 4.1 per cent.
Singapore students were ranked fifth in reading, second in mathematics and fourth in science, according to the study which covered 65 countries and economies.
About half of Singapore students from poorer socio-economic background also scored better in reading than what their circumstances would otherwise predict.
This was the first time that Singapore had taken part in PISA, which was conducted under the auspices of the OECD.
The students were assessed on their ability to analyse, reason and apply their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar settings.
The Education Ministry said that Singapore's good performance shows that beyond a strong grasp of knowledge, our students have the ability to think critically and solve real-life problems.
It added that the OECD noted that the results of the study highlighted Singapore "as a high-performing education system with features that other systems could learn from."
The Ministry's director-general of education, Ho Peng, said the outcomes affirm that Singapore is in the right direction in terms of education.